Friday Flash Fics + 1, or, Late As Usual

I know, I know. It’s Saturday, not Friday. Sue me.

(Actually, please don’t sue me. Anyway, moving on.)

A pre-PS plug: My friend ‘Nathan’s YA novel, Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks, is available for preorder, but lucky me, I’m reading it right now and I think you should totally get it.

Go on, I’ll wait.

Done? Right. Moving on. The photo below is the prompt for last week’s Friday Flash Fic, but I can’t do anything on time. The photo for this week? I’ll probably write something in response to that one next week.

That’s me, perpetually a little behind.

Anyway, I looked at this one and thought, is he coming or going? Going, I decided. And someone doesn’t want him to go. That someone also happens to be a Star Trek fan, so if you get the references herein, I’m pleased.

It’s more than a bit sentimental, but yeah, sue me. (Don’t sue me.) Enjoy, and live long and prosper.

Departure Lounge

Peter set down his suitcase and waited for his ride. It was just before sunset, and the meadow was bathed in a golden-hour glow, that special quality of air that seemed purpose built to make beautiful things even more beautiful. And the meadow was beautiful: lush grass dotted with bobbleheaded yellow flowers swaying gently, and ringed with towering conifers. Peaceful. Quiet, except for the occasional birdsong from the trees, the swishing of breeze over blades of grass.

He was going to miss Earth so much.

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Writing prompt: You're the coyote

Some people talk to their therapists, or their bartenders. I talk to the people who cut my hair. When I was getting a trim earlier this week, we got on the topic of tattoos. She had lots, and I only have a couple. I want another one, a larger one, but I want it to be something meaningful to me, and I haven’t quite figured out what.

“I have this recurring dream, though,” I told her.

Snip snip, comb, tug. “What’s your dream?”

“Well, I’m in this desert landscape, and I’m following a coyote.

photo-1425141750113-187b6a13e28c(Awesome coyote photo courtesy of Josh Felise, Unslpash)

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Writing prompt: Throw in a roadblock

I went running again yesterday morning. There are a number of trails that criss-cross not far from where I’m staying; I think I’ve explored most of the ones that are in easy reach, and I was running along one that I’d already traveled so I wasn’t expecting to see anything out of the ordinary like I did the last time.

Turns out I was wrong.

Deer

If you look closely at that photo (you might need to click on it to enlarge), you’ll see that I ran into an unexpected walker on the trail. The deer and I stood there staring at each other for a short while, and she didn’t seem inclined to go anywhere. (Blackberries have been in season, so I couldn’t blame her.) Luckily, I was able to backtrack a short distance and take a side path up to a parallel trail.

Naturally, I was thinking about how writing can be like that. Sometimes you get to a point where you can’t move forward, or at least you’re not sure how. What should you do? Throw a deer in your path. Not literally, but give your characters something unexpected to deal with. Where do they go from there?

Like me in the middle of my run, they might be able to work their way around to where you were trying to get them in the first place. And they might see something interesting when they get there: In my case, it was two deer standing at the top of a hill overlooking the trail where I was running.

Writing prompt: If you go down to the woods….

I was out running this past weekend in Olympia, and along one of the trails I happened across this staircase in the middle of the woods.

Staircase in the woods

I thought, how odd. Why would there be a set of concrete stairs in the middle of the forest? Being of a somewhat dark mood at the time, my thoughts went to dark places. Things that go bump in the daylight came to mind. (I don’t know about you, but those are infinitely more frightening than things that go bump in the night; I mean, you expect that sort of thing at night, but in broad daylight?!)

My next thought was, hey, that would make a good writing prompt. Which is why you’re reading this now. See where the stairs lead you.